This Tuesday, Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry will hold two events in recognition of the International Day of Peace. Students may gather in the student center between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to create their own pinwheel for peace. Regina Wilson, assistant director of Campus Ministry, said students will write their hopes, dreams and wishes on the pinwheels to serve as a visual reminder of this globally recognized occasion. “It’s a way for Saint Mary’s to join in the worldwide community in observance of peace; a way to invite students to stop in the middle of the day and reflect,” Wilson said. It is also important for students to learn about peace together, she said. The second event in observance of International Peace Day will be held Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center. Students will have the opportunity to view “Taking Root: the Vision of Wangari and Maathai,” a film that tells the story of a Kenyan woman who attempts to address environmental degradation and other human rights issues by planting trees. In conjunction with the justice education department, Saint Mary’s Environmental Action Coalition will lead students in a discussion following the film. “These are just two little, simple ways that we ask students to focus on the needs of the world to pursue peace; these things don’t register on people’s radar,” Wilson said. Last year, between 60 and 80 students attended these events on International Peace Day, she said, adding that the events foster a friendly environment and are open to all interested participants.
Saint Mary’s College will host Debbie Riddle, a noted speaker on stalking awareness, as part of Stalking Awareness Month activities. The event, sponsored by the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO), will be held in Vander Vennet Theater on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. Riddle, an awareness activist since 2003, sought change in the government’s approach to stalking prevention after her sister, Peggy Klinke, was murdered by an ex-boyfriend and stalker of one year. Klinke’s death occurred just six days before the court case against her harasser went to trial. Connie Adams, director of BAVO, said Riddle’s speech was originally set for October 2012, but was rescheduled due to weather – coincidentally to the 10th anniversary of her sister’s death. Riddle intends to share Peggy’s story in her speech, which Adams said was “a touching and powerful testimony.” “I believe understanding the impact stalking has through a personal lens magnifies the power [to prevent it],” Adams said. “After all, knowledge is power.” Riddle will also share general information about stalking and its impact on our country, specifically on college campuses. In addition, she will discuss the importance of intervention, coordinated community responses and prevention initiatives. “Unfortunately, stalking impacts men and women in the U.S. at alarming rates. One in six women experiences stalking in her lifetime and one in 19 men experiences stalking in his lifetime,” Adams said. “As with other types of power-based personal violence, college-age women are at the highest risk.” Senior Cristina Bueno plans to attend the event. She said she believes the talk is relevant to college students because relationships at this age begin to intensify and can spin out of control. “I think stalking is a prevalent form of harassment on college campuses because it is very easy to find out where someone lives, who they hang out with and their class schedule,” Bueno said. “Campuses can be small and close-knit and that makes it easy to find someone and follow them around.” Bueno believes that Riddle’s speech is beneficial for the Saint Mary’s community because it offers a personal account of just how dangerous an accelerated romantic relationship in college can be. “People need to be able to recognize the signs of a stalker, whether they are being stalked or someone they know is being stalked,” Bueno said. “It is important to know the facts, be able to recognize the signs and to realize how you can take action to protect yourself and those you care for.” Adams said she hopes the event will be informative for students. “My hope is that participants gain a better understanding of stalking as a whole,” Adams said. “There are many misconceptions in our society about violence. Events such as Debbie’s lecture allow us to gain a better understanding of the issue and empower us to create change.”
Your friend passes out from excessive alcohol consumption at an off-campus party. You’ve been drinking as well, and you’re both underage. Do you call for medical help immediately or do you hesitate, worrying about the consequences of a drinking citation on your medical school applications? The Indiana Lifeline Law, which came into effect July 1, 2012, eliminates this decision for off-campus offenses. Under the law, neither the person who seeks help nor the one experiencing the medical emergency will receive a drinking citation, as long as they cooperate with authorities, Captain Phil Trent of the South Bend Police Department (SBPD) said. “We do not want to in any way, shape or form dissuade people from seeking medical attention, especially the person who needs it the most,” Trent said. According to the Indiana Lifeline Law website, it “provides immunity for the crimes of public intoxication, minor possession, minor consumption and minor transport to persons who reveal themselves to law enforcement while seeking medical assistance for a person suffering from an alcohol-related health emergency.” The law does not absolve people of crimes such as “providing to a minor, operating while intoxicated or possession of a controlled substance,” according to the law’s website. Brian Coughlin, associate vice president for student development, said he thinks the Lifeline Law is “fine” but should be unnecessary. “I feel disappointed that it would be necessary, that folks would need some sort of policy or law to enable them to do the right thing for their fellow human being,” Coughlin said. Student body president Alex Coccia said student government approves of the Lifeline Law and considers it a helpful resource for students presented with alcohol-related emergencies off campus. “We made it very clear in our platform that medical amnesty in a broad sense is what we want to have included in University policy,” Coccia said. “It’s something that has come up many years in a row for students. It’s something that students do feel strongly about. And I think it makes practical sense. I think that’s why this Lifeline Law is so important.” Currently, Notre Dame does not have a medical amnesty policy granting immunity from disciplinary outcomes to students who seek medical attention for a friend or for the individual suffering from the emergency. If a Notre Dame student received immunity under the Lifeline Law in an off-campus scenario, Ryan Willerton, director of the Office of Community Standards, said the student may still have to interact with his or her rector or representatives from Community Standards after the event. “It’s not a punitive system where we get a report and all of a sudden we go into investigative mode of ‘What were you drinking? How much were you drinking? You’re going to get in trouble. I need to figure out how much trouble’ – that’s not how it operates at all,” Willerton said. “It’s about we get a name, we get a report, we want to talk to the student – tell us your perspective. And then we determine an appropriate outcome tailored to that individual based on the nature of their involvement with that incident [and] their conduct history at the University, the same as the other schools that have medical amnesty policies.” Willerton said there are three disciplinary status outcomes for students: probation, temporary dismissal and permanent dismissal. If a student’s name is released to the University after he or she receives immunity under the Lifeline Law, it is unlikely that the student will suffer any disciplinary outcomes, he said. “There’s only three disciplinary status outcomes. Everything else is educational, formative and developmental. That’s the key,” Willerton said. “So is a student on a first time intoxication where they helped another friend going to be temporarily dismissed? No. Are they going to be put on disciplinary probation? Probably not.” Trent said not all incidents related to the Lifeline Law would result in reports being sent to the University. “In a classic case, there would not necessarily be any report generated,” Trent said. “In a situation where the fire department medics were called to assist an ill party, whether or not there would be police response to begin with would be a question. There’s a lot of circumstances where we’ll encounter somebody and if there’s basically no criminal activity, i.e. we’re going to use the Lifeline Law in this case, there’s not going to be a report generated – no citations, no report, nothing.” However, if SBPD breaks up a loud house party but does not issue citations, a report could still be sent to the University that includes the names of the house’s owners, Trent said. “We’re enormously busy on a football game Saturday, let’s say. An officer or two get dispatched to an off-campus house for a loud party. We get there, we note that it’s a large party, it’s very loud, it’s annoying the neighbors,” he said. “We might make a report and in that report we would cite that there were numerous people there that appeared intoxicated and these are the principal renters of the house and ostensibly the people who were hosting the party. Their names may be included in the report and that’s all that we would do, and we’d go back into service because we’re super busy, without issuing citations, without even breaking the party up.” Trent said Indiana State Excise Police often issue their own citations, but the names of all parties involved might not necessarily reach the University. “Even if [excise police] issued 50 citations, 50 names would not go into the South Bend Police Report,” Trent said. “Perhaps only a few names, those being the residents of that property would probably go into the report and potentially 50, 75, 100 other people wouldn’t be noted.” If the University does receive word of a student’s involvement in a situation falling under the Lifeline Law, Coughlin said the motivation behind meeting with students after such an incident is to prevent future medical emergencies. “We don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to have an educational conversation with that student. You made a really good decision at the end of the night to say, ‘my friend’s in medical distress. I’m going to call someone for help,’ but how many other incidents throughout that evening could you or someone else have made a different decision that would’ve led to a different result where that student was not in a medical emergency?” he said. Coccia said student government’s lobbying for a medical amnesty policy at Notre Dame is also aimed at prevention. “We’re focused on prevention, and we want to make sure, whether because it’s policy and or culture, that students are taking care of each other,” he said. “Whenever someone’s intoxicated, it’s going to impair judgment and we want to provide every opportunity to do the right thing and to help friends if help is needed.” Coughlin said Community Standards’ new reporting policy should appease students worried about their futures. “It seemed to me that one of the major drivers of [a medical amnesty policy] was this idea of my permanent record or what was reported other places, and I believe that we’ve significantly addressed that through our records reporting policy,” he said. “… The only thing that we report to other entities, whether they be graduate schools or bar associations or licensing groups, is those three disciplinary outcomes. And so if the excuse is, from a student, ‘Well I didn’t seek medical attention or help for my fellow student because I was worried about my med school application,’ that’s no longer an excuse that is valid.” Willerton said Community Standards’ new disciplinary model also negates the need for a medical amnesty policy. “Within Community Standards, we look at every student as an individual, and that goes back to the new model that we have,” he said. “So the conversations we have with students are really dependent on their past conduct history and really the nature of the incident, so it’s not an ‘if, then’ type of situation.” Coccia said medical amnesty is a big part of his and vice president Nancy Joyce’s platform, and they intend to bring up the issue with Campus Life Council. “I view this as an issue of inclusion, where we want to make sure students are feeling safe on campus,” he said.
Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study received a Templeton Grant in the fall of 2012 for $1.58 million to research questions about the nature of human existence.The grant, provided by the John Templeton Foundation, will be used by the Institute for Advanced Study to “bring together, particularly, areas of religion and science,” Eric Bugyis said.Bugyis, coordinator for undergraduate research in the Institute for Advanced Study, said the grant would fund two senior researchers analyzing questions about the nature of human creativity and the place of the mind in nature.“Really big questions can unite disciplines,” Bugyis said. “That is what the Institute is about, in general — trying to bring disciplines and trying to overcome the narrow focus you get often in university research.”Bugyis said those questions are best answered with interdisciplinary study and working to understand the common core of the different disciplines, especially when subjects don’t share an obvious connection.“You might think religion and science come together on issues like creationism and evolution and that’s going to be where the conversation happens,” he said. “For us though, the more fruitful dialogue happens when you go deeper — so it’s not a flat surface, it’s a sphere. The most interesting places where they intersect are not the surface, but the center.”Bugyis said he has called upon undergraduates from different disciplines to find universal, yet unique, perspectives and answers.“We wanted to bring in students, because we have this interdisciplinary focus, from various disciplines that were not necessarily specific to the projects these fellows working on. … So more than just logistically, students are really contributing to the project at a conceptual level — challenging the researchers that they work with to think in different to not only how they conduct their research and how they present it,” Bugyis said.Senior Iona Hughan, an undergraduate researcher for the Institute for Advanced Study, said collaborating with students from such different backgrounds has made for interesting research situations.“Try putting a psychologist who is investigating the idea that a person is only a brain in the same room with an anthropologist who works with only empty skulls,” Hughan said. “It’s fascinating to watch them force one another to think in new ways and find common ground, and this is a big part of what the Institute is doing.” Tags: Advanced Studies
Tags: ND student senate, Senate, Student representatives Student body president Bryan Ricketts and vice president Nidia Ruelas were sworn into office at Wednesday night’s student senate meeting. In their oath, they swore to uphold the constitution of the undergraduate student body.The new dorm senators were also sworn in Wednesday night“I am really hopeful and excited for the conversations to come in Senate,” student body vice president Nidia Ruelas, a junior, said. “We really have a unique and attentive group of senators. We also have appointed a wonderful group of department directors that I have complete faith will do great work.”The new senators for the 2014-2015 academic year then approved the following individuals in their incoming student government positions:Chief of Staff: Dan SehlhorstParliamentarian: Sara DuganSecretary: Sibonay ShewitExecutive Controller: Kendall MarthalerDirector of Communications: Madi KingAthletics Representative: Sam GerstemeierDiversity Council Representative: Ray’Von JonesCampus Ministry Representative: Ethan MuehlsteinFirst Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL) Directors: Michael Finan and Madi PurrenhageDirector of the Department of Academic Affairs: Bridget RickardDirector of the Department of Campus Technology: Michael McRoskeyDirector of the Department of Community Relations: Rohan AndresenDirector of the Department of Constituent Services: John KillDirector of the Department of Gender Issues: Danny FunaroDirector of the Department of Health & Wellness: Rohit FonsecaDirector of the Department of Internal Affairs: Rebecca BlaisDirector of the Department of National Engagement and Outreach: Julia ZanotelliDirector of the Department of Residence Life: Casey SkevingtonDirector of the Department of Social Concerns: Daniela NarimatsuDirector of the Department of University Affairs: Patrick Murday“It was an honor to get to introduce each of our directors to senate,” student body president Bryan Ricketts, a junior, said. “They’re all amazing people, the ones who we knew were going to be stellar for their position the minute they left their interviews. I’m looking forward to what we all can accomplish together in service to the student body.”The title of emeritus was also granted to 2013-2014 student body president Lauren Vidal and vice president Matthew Devine, both seniors, and chief of staff Shannon Montague, a junior.
Becki Jeren SMC alumna London Lamar describes the path her career in political science has taken at the Rice Commons at Saint Mary’s on Monday.Saint Mary’s graduate London Lamar returned to campus Monday, and discussed the benefits of her political science degree and encouraged students to make the most of their time in college.Lamar, who graduated from the College in 2013 and currently serves as president of the Tennessee Young Democrats, said she recognizes the importance of remaining true to her passions.“I’ve always been involved in politics,” Lamar said. “I decided to expand on my interests when I came to Saint Mary’s. I wanted to see my personal platform be expanded.”According to Lamar, students should view college as an opportunity to experiment with different classes and interests.“If you’re not sure where you want to go in life, dabble here at Saint Mary’s so that when you jump out into the world, you have a more clear idea of where you want to go,” Lamar said. “Then once you find out what you like, go into it with full force.”Lamar said she attributes her success to her time at Saint Mary’s, as well as her semester in Washington, D.C., which provided her with the hands-on experience necessary to stand out.“I took advantage of a lot of the opportunities I had here at Saint Mary’s, which has really helped propel my career,” Lamar said. “It’s really hard to get a job after college. You have to be able to distinguish yourself from the rest. You have to make yourself be a shining star.”Lamar said that people should not rely solely on academics and experience, though, because networking serves an equally valuable role.“It’s not about what you know,” Lamar said. “It’s about who you know. Make sure you build connections with people who can help set you apart and get you where you want to go.”According to Lamar, social media plays a larger role than ever, so she advised students to market themselves and portray themselves in the best light possible.“I cannot express how critical your social media is,” Lamar said.She observed firsthand the competitive nature of her profession when she ran for the Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Committee in 2014, Lamar said. Although she did not win, she said the experience only strengthened her desire to succeed.“It was really hard because I had to go out there and convince people to vote for me against people who are way older,” she said. “In a competitive workforce, you always want to be number one. That experience empowered me. It created a fire in me.”Lamar said her achievements would not be possible without the foundation she established while at Saint Mary’s, so she encouraged students to work hard and become involved.“I have crafted my path to leadership based on the brand I started at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “I really want to stress how important taking advantage of experiences is.”She said she understands that college is a busy time but encouraged students to rise to the occasion and always extend their best effort.“Put yourself out there to be better than the rest,” Lamar said. “Right now, you have a lot of opportunities to be great. Be great.”Tags: political science, SMC, Tennessee Young Democrats
Tags: Notre Dame Forum, Notre Dame Law Review, Vatican II Bishop Daniel E. Flores of the diocese of Brownsville, Texas, delivered the opening address of the Notre Dame Law Review Symposium. This year’s Symposium is titled “Religious Liberty and the Free Society: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of ‘Dignitatis Humanae’” and is part of the 2015-16 Notre Dame Forum. Flores focused on the intellectual issues at the core of “Dignitatis Humanae,” the Declaration on Religious Liberty issued by the Second Vatican Council.“Within the tradition of the Church, ‘Dignitatis Humanae’ represents a magisterial judgment about religious freedom,” he said. “Just as importantly it represents a magisterial judgment on the proper way to frame the issue of religious freedom. This should not be surprising since this is what councils do.”The bishops who wrote the document framed the issue of religious liberty within the theological tradition, articulating the freedom required for the act of faith, Flores said. The conciliar judgment about the frame and context of the teachings suggests that related topics, such as the dignity of the human person, human freedom and human intellectuality are best understood from the point of view of revelation.“Simply put, the human person, as a rational and choosing being, is best perceived from the vantage point of the highest acts available to us in this life; namely, the dynamic of truth apprehended and freely chosen in faith,” he said. “That this human dynamic happens with the aid of grace does not obscure the fact that it is essentially human in character. On the contrary, it renders it more intelligible.”John Courtney Murray, an American theologian who played a large role in drafting “Dignitatis Humanae,” favors the first paragraph of the document as the principal lens for its interpretation, Flores said, whereas other theologians prefer to employ the second paragraph of the document as an interpretive lens. “‘Dignitatis Humanae’ number two, with its emphasis on human dignity as rooted in our being, endowed with free will and therefore privileged with personal responsibility, states the matter in terms of a positive good within the person with juridical consequences,” he said. ” … This a properly theological perspective, citing the revealed word of God.”This theological belief is further articulated later in the document, where the teaching on religious freedom is discussed in the light of revelation, Flores said. Drafting the text represented a “dance” between two different kinds of Thomism. “Murray’s Thomism, a political philosophy, and the theological Thomism of Wojtyla and others, ultimately the council Fathers relativized,” he sad. ” … By relativized, I mean the Council made it be seen in relation to the higher theological signs.”“Dignitatis Humanae” proposes teaching rooted within revelation, clear and at the same time mystery-laden, he said. “Clear, because the prerogatives and operations of reason are discernible to all and open to inspection,” he said. “But mystery-laden because the light of the Trinity and its reflections on the human soul are only partially known in this life.” Flores said to hold the teaching of “Dignitatis Humanae” as primarily theological does not necessarily suggest the doctrine is altogether out of reach of non-theological discourses such as political philosophy or constitutional theory, which was Murray’s fear.“It does mean though, that when we engage in the current discussion about religious freedom with any contemporary society of religious pluralism and governmental indifference to religious doctrine we have to be both reasonable and aware of how our political philosophy receives its direction from properly theological sources,” he said. The bishop cited philosopher Larry Siedentop’s “Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism,” saying it offered an engaging interpretation of Christian life and thought and it’s impact on Western society. “Christianity’s appearance in the ancient world hastened and gave decisive feature to the cultural demise of the household as the principle vehicle of religious expression and thus social identity,” he said. “Secondly, Christianity — in the Gospels, in St. Paul and as transmitted to the Middle Ages through the figure of St. Augustine — set in motion the decisive development of the metaphysics of the will.”Social identity was defined by roles assigned by relation to the governance and survival of the family hearth, Flores said. “This was very strict. There was no individual identity apart from this relation to the family hearth,” he said. “Christianity, with particular emphasis on Pauline preaching, offered a lived anthropology that overcame in many ways the sacral stratification that enforced the natural inequality. The Christian insistence on the individual encounter with the grace of Christ implied the ascendancy of individuals as fundamentally equal before God.” An accurate historical narrative recognizes the decisive fact that the issues of equality and freedom became disengaged at some point from the theological context which bore them, Flores said. “It is important to note that ‘Dignitatis Humanae’ repositions for the Church the discussion about Church, society and freedom within a properly theological frame,” he said. “It remains to be seen if it is possible for us to influence the wider social fabric by means of such a recovery of our best life. ‘Dignitatis Humanae’ would insist we are better off looking at the issue from the perspective of the best lights: namely the Gospel narratives, St. Paul, St. Augustine, and of course, St. Thomas.”
This week’s Justice Friday series focused on informing students about the St. Joseph chapter of Rebuilding Together, a national non-profit organization whose mission is to help revitalize houses of low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners. Its focus was on St. Joseph County’s need for the program and how Saint Mary’s students can become involved in Rebuilding Together.The talk was led by the student director of the Saint Mary’s Office of Civil and Social Engagement (OCSE), junior Maggie Carswell, and a student worker for OCSE, junior Alyssia Parrett. Carswell said, according to the national poverty guidelines, 16.7 percent of South Bend inhabitants fall below the poverty level and 7.5 percent have an income below 50 percent of the poverty level in South Bend.Carswell said this is an issue because oftentimes families have to give up basic survival necessities such as healthcare, transportation or proper home care. “A family of four falling below the poverty line is making $18,000 a year,” Carswell said. “For a single adult to meet the survival guidelines in Saint Joseph County, they would need $18,000 … a family of four would need around $42,000 just to get by in Saint Joseph County.”According to Parrett, 22 percent of married social security recipients and 47 percent of single social security recipients are dependent on social security for 90 percent of their income.“Oftentimes, the elderly run out of social security by the end of the month,” said Parrett. “They start neglecting some of their basic expenses including housing, you see that they live in unsafe houses which leaves a big risk for injury.”“Rebuilding Together believes that everyone deserves to live in a safe, healthy home,” Carswell said. Carswell explained that the organization’s volunteers help with housing repairs free of charge such as lawn clean up, painting, and gardening, while experts help with electrical and mechanical work.Parrett said homeowner selection is done in January. In order to apply, the applicants must live in the targeted project area, own a single-family owner-occupied unit, be the primary residents, have the qualifying income according to federal poverty guidelines and be up to date on property taxes. Priority selection is given to veterans, the disabled and the elderly. The program came to South Joseph County in 1989 and since then 40,000 volunteers have helped improve 866 houses. “In 2015 alone the volunteers helped 19 homes, repaired 16 roofs and restored 7 furnaces in the Olive Street-Lincoln way area over two weekends in April,” Carswell said. Last year, Saint Mary’s brought around 80 volunteers that tended to 4 homes in the community. “A sweet old lady we helped last year kept saying, ‘girl power’ because it was all Saint Mary’s students helping with her house,” Carswell said. “[She] was so thankful and said she was going to sleep in her car that night so she could wake up and see her new house with the sunrise.“Every year it’s different stories. It not only transforms their lives but it transforms their homes and it really transforms our community as well,” Carswell said. “We get to see our hands and how they help the community. It contributes to part of our Catholic mission of service to others.” Rebuilding Together takes place on April 16 and lasts from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students can contact the Director of OCSE, Erika Buhring, to sign up for Rebuilding Together. Food and transportation will be provided. Tags: Justice Friday, OCSE, Rebuilding Together, service, SMC
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN Stock Image.JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown mother was arrested Thursday afternoon after officers found her child wandering alone in the area of Burtch Street.Jamestown Police say Linda Troutman, 27, is charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.Officers were first advised by residents in the area that a toddler was found wandering along for at least an hour.Police were able to locate the child’s mother inside a nearby residence. While speaking with Troutman officers observed deplorable living conditions inside the house. It is alleged that Troutman’s house was littered with dog feces, soiled diapers, food and other garbage.Police said Troutman was taken into custody and transported to Jamestown City Jail.It is unclear if the child, or other children in the house, were taken into protective custody.
Image courtesy: Peek’n PeakALBANY – Ski resorts will be able to open at 50 percent capacity starting Nov. 6, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during a Sunday afternoon press conference.Masks will be required at all times except when eating and drinking or skiing.Social distancing will be also required between parties at all times.Gondolas and ski lifts will be limited to members of the same party, and skiing lessons will be limited to no more than ten people at a time. Resorts must reduce capacity on the mountain by 25 percent during “peak” days, or if multiple trails are closed due to unseasonable conditions.Rented or shared equipment must be thoroughly cleaned or disinfected. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)